Colombo, Sri Lanka, Aug 01: Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled for 99 and Kumar Sangakkara smashed an unbeaten 75 on Wednesday to propel Sri Lanka to a convincing 128-run win over South Africa, and a 4-1 victory in their one-day international series.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka scored a challenging 307-4 in 50 overs. Dilshan hit 13 boundaries in his 110-ball innings and shared 163 runs for the second wicket with No. 3 batsman Lahiru Thirimanne (68). Sangakkara faced just 45 deliveries and hit 12 boundaries.
Dilshan, who made an unbeaten 115 in the fourth match in Pallekele last Sunday, missed out on a second straight century of the series being bowled by seamer Ryan McLaren.
South Africa started the run chase with promise but was dismissed for 179 in the 44th over. Captain AB de Villiers top scored with 51, a run-a ball innings that included a six and five boundaries.
“Couldn't have asked for any better, I thought Dilshan and Thirimanne batted brilliantly. Unfortunately Dilshan couldn't get to his century,” Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said.
“We have got a good blend of seniors and juniors, pretty happy with the way they performed.”
Off spin bowler Sachithra Senanayake provided the first breakthrough for the hosts in the sixth over when South Africa had reached 35 without loss. He bowled opener Quinton de Kock for 27 off 21 deliveries.
Hashim Amla and Jean-Paul Duminy looked set for another stand sharing 25 runs before Amla (18) was trapped lbw by Senanayake.
Faf Du Plessis edged a delivery from seam bowler Thisara Perera and soon South Africa slumped from 60-2 to 85-6, from which they never recovered.
Seamer Suranga Lakmal (3-22) and spinner Ajantha Mendis 3-36) did the damage for Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Dilshan and Thirimanne had provided Sri Lanka with a degree of stability after losing opener Kusal Perera early with the total on 13. “Looked like we played cricket out of our league, unfortunately couldn't get some momentum going,” South Africa captain de Villiers said.
“We'll keep learning. It's amazing, when you start to lose, all these negatives kick up and you start to overanalyze things. It was a great experience, played some quality spin and against a subcontinent team that really know their conditions very well.”
Sri Lanka rested three key players—batsman Mahela Jayawardene, paceman Lasith Malinga and spinner Rangana Herath—for Wednesday's dead rubber after securing the series 3-1. Opening batsman Upul Tharanga who played in the fourth match, was dropped.
Their places were taken by Angelo Perera, Lakmal, Senanayake and Kusal Perera.
The first game of a three-match Twenty20 series will be played at this venue on Friday.